APU Snow Science 1 toured on Fresno to check out the spring snowpack. We made it to 2500′ without getting soaked.
Several natural D2-3 avalanches observed from the road along Seward Hwy (i.e. Orca, Whiteline), Portage (i.e. Door 1) and Turnagain Pass. Since none of us had been in the zone for two weeks, it was hard to define if the avalanches had happened in the last 24 hours or prior during the extended storm cycle.
|Cracking (Shooting cracks)?||No|
Observed several significant whumpfs both at lower elevation as well as at 2500'.
Temps above freezing the whole day.
Calm winds lower down, light breeze from E near the ridgeline.
Intermittent light rain at lower elevation and snow flurries above 2000'.
Unsupported moist and isothermal snowpack at lower elevation. Boot pen to crotch & ski pen 10-50cm.
At 2000' transitioned to improved skinning/skiing conditions.
Mid-elevation:~3cm 1F meltfreeze crust below 1-5cm of new snow.
Small roller balls observed above 2000'.
Moist and isothermal snowpack at lower elevation. Snowpack is percolating all the way to the ground. Ski conditions were catchy and challenging at the lower elevation.
Dug a pit and did a percolation test on ENE aspect close to the ridgeline (2500') in the trees on 20-25* slope.
We found a reactive layer 35 cm down, moist facets buried on March 8. This layer took a bit of force to fail, but it had lot of propagation propensity (ECTP21 & ECTP24). We also had the basal facets fail on CT 26 SC.